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Niagara Falls
Thursday, March 30, 2023
Ross’s Ramblings: Open? Closed? Family Day needs clarification and commitment
Ross wonders what the deal is with Family Day and inconsistent closures. Pexels

Monday, Feb. 20 was a lovely day for families to be outside enjoying fresh air in our lovely spa-like town, where the Niagara River empties into Lake Ontario.

Six people arrived on the old Court House steps, anxious to learn some local history and chuckle at my Niagara-themed funny stories.

To be entertained and educated on a perfect mid-winter day, as it were.

Being downtown now every day at 9:50, hoping for walkers to arrive, it has been amazing to learn that the busiest store on Queen Street is the LCBO.

Almost every day, there are a couple of thirsty customers going in the out door at 10 o’clock sharp. After that, a steady stream all day, all genders, all ages, all sizes, all thirsty.

There was consternation because the store was closed for Family Day.

The good people at our Niagara-on-the-Lake Tourism office work hard and skilfully to draw visitors to our town. Families arrived in droves during the weekend, eager to walk our sidewalks, enjoy a gelato, or tour the town on a horse and carriage. Eureka!

A new and plus-sized candy store was busy all day. But no, it was not possible to buy a bottle of Niagara wine from the provincial liquor store and learn about our wineries.

I had checked out the Toronto Star on Saturday, under “What will be open on Family Day?”

The Toronto Zoo was open, Ripley’s Aquarium was on extended hours, the Royal Ontario Museum was featuring special family programming, all aimed at providing good days out for family experiences. Their libraries were open, too.

Just after noon, I drove over to our wonderful NOTL Library and Community Centre, intent on a ginger cookie from Sweets & Swirls and a workout at the fitness centre.

At the front door of the community centre I met five nice people who had driven over from Brantford to enjoy our town and play some disc golf. They each had their own set of golf discs and had been playing for just over an hour.

But now, they were stymied in their attempt to use the community centre facilities. The building was closed for Family Day.

This is all very confusing, eh? It was a bit chilly to nip in behind an evergreen tree at the Disc Golf course. What to do? Is it a holiday or is it not a holiday?

Tell me again why provincial and municipal government employees get a statutory holiday, while private sector workers are working, creating tax dollars to pay for public sector employees?

I understand the world is not a fair place, but please think about ways to clarify and simplify Family Day.

As I have said so often while rambling, I love living in NOTL.

On Family Day, there was a lot of good happening to locals and visitors. Our town and regional garbage crews were on the job, ensuring a pridefully clean village.

In theory, an annual Family Day may be a fine concept. But let’s make the rules fairer and advise residents and visitors what’s open and what’s closed.

Here’s to another birthday and another year in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Let’s ramble into spring.

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